2024-06-20 06:20Press release

SmiLe Strengthens Foodtech Expertise 

Katharina BjörnekKatharina Björnek

Lund, SwedenSmiLe Venture Hub welcomes Katharina Björnek to the business development team as a new coach with foodtech expertise. Her broad experience in product development and quality assurance in the food sector on a global level will contribute to the rapid development of our incubator companies. She will also play a key role in our new international program, Foodtech Bootcamp, launching this fall. 

Katharina Björnek has successfully managed product development and product quality in the entire food supply chain throughout her career. She began her career as a newly graduated certified pharmacist at the pharmaceutical company Draco, which is now part of AstraZeneca. For seven years, she worked for the food company Midsona AB. There, she was a member of the Swedish management team, worked in marketing as sales representative, and was responsible for ensuring that the company complied with product-specific legislation. Additionally, Katharina Björnek represented the company during inspections by authorities and certification bodies. 

In addition to working according to food and dietary supplement regulations, Katharina Björnek has been responsible for quality assurance according to rules and guidelines for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. She most recently came from Ikea Food, holding positions as project manager and globally responsible for the quality of the company's products worldwide. During her career, she has worked on meeting regulatory requirements for products in over 60 countries.  

“Katharina Björnek becomes an invaluable asset for SmiLe's foodtech company. Her extensive expertise in regulations, quality assurance, and production will significantly accelerate the development of our startups until market introduction. This is an important piece of the puzzle in our effort to build new capacity. Katharina's expertise, together with our new lab infrastructure and upcoming educational packages in foodtech, gives us the opportunity to offer a complete package, not only within life science but also within food science,” says Ulrika Ringdahl, Chief Operating Officer at SmiLe. 

For more information, please contact: Ulrika Ringdahl, COO at SmiLe, +46 (0)736-566232, ulrika.ringdahl@smileincubator.life 

Language: English

About SmiLe Venture Hub – Pioneering Life Science Innovations

SmiLe is a leading venture hub that specializes in advancing life science startups from concept to commercialization. We offer comprehensive support through every stage of entrepreneurship, including tailored incubation and acceleration programs, a variety of educational courses, and access to top-tier lab facilities. To date, our flagship incubator program has supported over 100 startups, facilitating their collective acquisition of more than EUR 841 million in venture capital and contributing to 21 successful IPOs. Recognized as one of Europe’s leading startup hubs in 2024 by the Financial Times and Statista, SmiLe continues to be a catalyst for innovation in the life sciences sector. As a non-profit entity based in Lund, Sweden, SmiLe is supported by Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University, and Medicon Village. We are also backed by our sponsors Agilent, Sparbanken Skåne, Høiberg, Setterwalls, Zacco, Key2Compliance, Phase Holographic Imaging, and ChemoMetec. For more information: www.smileventurehub.com